Lou Barletta

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Lou Barletta
Lou Barletta.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 11th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Paul Kanjorski
Mayor of Hazleton
In office
January 3, 1999 – December 14, 2010
Preceded by Mike Marsicano
Succeeded by Joseph Yannuzzi
Personal details
Born Louis James Barletta
(1956-01-28) January 28, 1956 (age 62)
Hazleton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Malloy
Children 4 daughters
Education Luzerne County Community College
Bloomsburg University

Louis James Barletta (born January 28, 1956) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district since 2011. A Republican, he served as Mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania from 1999 to 2010. As Mayor he was known for his crackdown on illegal immigration.

He is the Republican nominee in the United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2018.

Early life, education, and business career

Barletta was born January 28, 1956 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, the son of Angeline (née Agosti) and Rocco Barletta, both of Italian ancestry.[1] After graduating from high school, he attended Luzerne County Community College and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. After an unsuccessful tryout for the Cincinnati Reds baseball team,[2] Barletta went to work for his family's construction and heating oil business.

In 1984, Barletta founded a pavement marking company, Interstate Road Marking Corporation, which he sold in 2000. At the time of the sale, his firm had grown to become the largest of its kind in Pennsylvania.

Mayor of Hazleton

He was defeated for a seat on the Hazleton City Council in 1996, but won two years later. In 1999, he defeated Jack Mundie for mayor, taking 66% of the vote[3] and overcoming a Democratic registration edge in the city.[4] He took office on January 3, 1999.[5]

Barletta was reelected as mayor in 2003 and 2007. In 2007, Barletta was nominated in both the Republican and Democratic primary elections. Barletta defeated the Democratic candidate, former Mayor Michael Marsicano, on the Democratic ballot as a write-in.[6]

In 2006, Barletta made headlines for his efforts opposing illegal immigration in Hazleton vowing to make the city “one of the toughest places in the United States” for illegal immigrants.[7] Barletta introduced and the city council approved the Illegal Immigration Relief Act.[8] The ordinance allowed the city to deny a business permit to employers who hired illegal immigrants and gave the city authority to fine landlords up to $1,000 for leasing to illegal immigrants.[7][9] The act also made English the official language of Hazleton, prohibiting city employees from translating documents into any language without official authorization.[10] In response, the ACLU and Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund sued in Federal District Court to block the ordinance.[10] In July 2007, District Court Judge James M. Munley ruled that the act was unconstitutional for interfering with Federal immigration laws and violating the due process of individuals, employers and landlords.[7] The ruling was upheld on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals on September 9, 2010.[11] In a public statement shortly after the decision, Barletta vowed to appeal.[12]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2002

In 2002, Barletta ran as the Republican candidate in the 11th District against nine-term Democratic incumbent Paul Kanjorski. The 11th had long been considered the most Democratic district in Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. However, Barletta was viewed as a very strong candidate—the first credible Republican challenger Kanjorski had faced since his 1986 reelection bid—since he was a very popular Republican mayor from a heavily Democratic city. Barletta lost, taking 42.4% of the vote. The race might have been much closer had the state legislature not decided to move heavily Democratic Scranton, previously the heart of the 10th District, to the 11th. Barletta lost the district's share of Lackawanna County, home to Scranton, by 32 points; he only trailed in the old 11th by 9,000 votes.[13]

2008

Barletta faced Kanjorski again in 2008.[14] Lou Barletta denounced the endorsement of David Duke in this race.[15] Multiple polls had shown Barletta leading Kanjorski by as many as 5 percentage points,[16] and the race has been pegged as one of the nation's most competitive leading into the November elections. That race was one of very few nationwide where a Republican challenger had a credible chance at unseating a Democratic incumbent. Barletta lost to Kanjorski 48%-52%,[17] largely due to losing Lackawanna County by 12,800 votes. Barletta won the territory that had been in the district prior to the 2000s round of redistricting by almost 4,000 votes.[18]

2010

Barletta announced on December 9, 2009, that he would once again run for Congress in 2010. He won his party's nomination on Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Barletta won the General Election on November 2, 2010 against Kanjorski by a 55%-45% margin. City Council President Joe Yannuzzi succeeded Barletta as Mayor of Hazleton on December 15, 2010.[19]

2012

Before the 2012 election, it was widely expected that the state legislature would gerrymander Barletta's district to make it safer for him. President Barack Obama carried the old 11th with 57%.[20] The new map, as expected, significantly altered the 11th. Heavily Democratic Scranton and Wilkes-Barre were shifted to the 17th District. To make up for the loss of population, the 11th absorbed some heavily Republican territory to the north and south that had previously been in the neighbouring 5th, 10th, 17th and 19th districts, pushing it as far south as the suburbs of Harrisburg. The new district is approximately ten points more Republican than its predecessor. Had it existed in 2008, President Obama would have only won 47 percent of the vote here to John McCain's 51 percent.[21] It appeared that the legislature wanted to protect Barletta by packing as many of northeast Pennsylvania's Democratic voters into the 17th as possible.

Barletta won reelection with 58 percent of the vote.[22]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

2018 Senate race

On July 31, 2017, the Associated Press reported that Barletta was preparing to seek the GOP nomination to challenge Bob Casey for Casey's Senate seat in the 2018 midterm elections. He officially announced on August 29.[24][25]

Political positions

According to Vox, Barletta is "considered to be generally more moderate than other House Republicans, though he almost always toes the party line on major votes."[26]

Abortion

Barletta supported a ban on abortion after 20 weeks.[26]

Donald Trump

Barletta is a staunch supporter of Donald Trump.[27] Barletta endorsed Donald Trump for president in March 2016.[28] According to NBC News, "Barletta is a favorite of Trump... Trump asked Barletta to run for Senate."[27] Barletta was reportedly considered for a position in the Trump administration.[26] In his 2018 Senate campaign, Barletta pledged to "give President Trump the help he needs".[26]

Economy and budget

On April 15, 2011, Barletta voted with the Republican majority for Paul Ryan's budget. Barletta has characterized a balanced budget amendment as a gimmick and said he will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.[29]

In 2017, Barletta voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Republican Party's tax reform legislation.[26] In supporting the legislation, Barletta tweeted, "Our #TaxReform package doubles standard deduction, brings $$$ back home, and reduces rates for ALL taxpayers. We will #MAGA."[30] According to PolitiFact, Barletta's claim is "mostly false", as the tax plan in 2018 cuts taxes for approximately 75% of Americans, while increasing them on 7%; by 2027, the tax plan will raise taxes for more than 25% of Americans.[30]

Health care

On January 31, 2014, Barletta introduced the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act (H.R. 3979; 113th Congress) into the House.[31] The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to exclude volunteer hours of volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel from counting towards the calculation of the number of a firm’s full-time employees for purposes of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act.[32] This mean that there was no requirement that volunteer emergency responders be offered health care by the organization they volunteer with.[33] Barletta argued that the bill was necessary because the Internal Revenue Service had initially said that it would be requiring organizations to provide these volunteers with insurance, something that would be prohibitively expensive for some of them.[33]

Barletta voted for House legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).[26] Barletta had threatened not to support Obamacare repeal because he wanted the repeal legislation to prohibit undocumented immigrants from applying for health insurance tax credits.[34] After meeting with President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, Barletta said that they had promised to bring up separate legislation to prohibit undocumented immigrants from accessing health insurance tax credits.[35]

Immigration

Barletta supports President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order imposing a ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, saying: "I commend President Trump for suspending the refugee program, and in particular for Syria and the six other countries, because they are unquestionably terrorist havens and hotspots."[36] In 2007, Barletta opposed comprehensive immigration reform.[37]

Barletta has been associated number of fringe anti-immigration groups and organizations.[37] In 2006, he gave an interview to American Free Press, an outlet that said that 9/11 was a "Jewish plot" and denies the Holocaust.[37] In 2007, Barletta appeared with American Free Press' "roving editor" Mark Anderson, a Bilderberg conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier, at a Hazleton rally in support of Anderson.[37] At the rally, Barletta said that the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 that the Bush administration was pursuing, would reward some immigrants who are "murders, rapists, thieves, and terrorists" with legal status.[37] In 2007, Barletta gave an interview to Americans for Immigration Control, which believes the "annual tidal wave of over a million immigrants (legal and illegal) is endangering our American way of life."[37] In 2011, Barletta spoke at an event hosted by the anti-Muslim journal The Social Contract, whose editor is a white nationalist.[37] In 2011, he appeared at an event hosted by the ultra-conservative student group Youth for Western Civilization, which opposes "radical multiculturalism, political correctness, racial preferences, mass immigration, and socialism."[37]

References

  1. ^ Palmer, Anna (November 3, 2010). "112th Congress: Lou Barletta, R-Pa. (11th District)". Congressional Quarterly. 
  2. ^ Vanessa Gezari (2006-07-02). "Hazelton mayor says enough, already!". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ Andrew Tutino (1999-11-03). "Barletta Elected Hazelton Mayor". Wilkes Barre Times Leader. 
  4. ^ Bill O'Boyle (2007-11-11). "Beyond the city limits". Wilkes Barre Times Leader. 
  5. ^ "Councilmen Skeptical of Candidates". 2000-01-02. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  6. ^ Michael Rubincam (2007-05-15). "Mayor Who Targeted Illegals Wins _ Twice". Associated Press, Printed in the San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  7. ^ a b c Julia Preston (2007-07-27). "Judge Voids Ordinance on Illegal Immigrants". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  8. ^ http://thehill.com/capital-living/new-member-of-the-week/167251-barletta-makes-pitch-on-immigration
  9. ^ Dwayne Parker (2008-10-30). "Hazleton Immigration Laws Head to Court". 69 News. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  10. ^ a b Michael Powell and Michelle García (2006-08-22). "Pa. City Puts Illegal Immigrants on Notice". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  11. ^ Court Rejects a City’s Efforts to Restrict Immigrants, Julia Preston, The New York Times, September 9, 2010
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  13. ^ "2008 Pennsylvania General Election Results". Pennsylvania Secretary of State, Bureau of Elections, Commissions and Licensure. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  14. ^ "Citizens' Voice". www.citizensvoice.com. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  15. ^ O'Boyle, Bill (2008-02-27). "Barletta refuses KKK nod". Times Leader. Times Leader. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  16. ^ "Election 2008 - Latest Polls". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  17. ^ "Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information". Electionreturns.state.pa.us. 2008-11-04. Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  18. ^ "Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information". Electionreturns.state.pa.us. 2008-11-04. Archived from the original on 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  19. ^ Zito, Salena (2010-03-28). "Rust Belt battlegrounds - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review". Pittsburghlive.com. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  20. ^ "Lots at stake for GOP in Pennsylvania redistricting". The Washington Post. 
  21. ^ Presidential results by congressional district at Daily Kos
  22. ^ "U.S. House: Pennsylvania District 11 (Barletta vs Stilp)". CNN. December 10, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  24. ^ "AP source: Barletta to seek US Senate seat held by Bob Casey". AP News. Retrieved 2017-07-31. 
  25. ^ "Barletta Announces His Candidacy for Senate". August 29, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Lou Barletta wins Republican nomination in the 2018 Pennsylvania Senate race". Vox. Retrieved 2018-05-16. 
  27. ^ a b "Trump backer wins GOP nod to take on Sen. Casey in Pennsylvania". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-05-16. 
  28. ^ Collins, Eliza (March 22, 2016). "Rep. Lou Barletta endorses Trump, hopes others will too". Politico. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  29. ^ Tom Ragan (22 April 2011). "Barletta discusses stance on budget matters". The Standard Speaker. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  30. ^ a b "PA Rep. Lou Barletta overstates benefits of the House tax bi". @politifact. Retrieved 2018-05-16. 
  31. ^ "H.R. 3979 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  32. ^ "H.R. 3979 - CBO". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  33. ^ a b Kasperowicz, Pete (10 March 2014). "GOP eyes Dem help on ObamaCare". The Hill. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  34. ^ Olson, Laura. "Lou Barletta opposes GOP Obamacare repeal bill". themorningcall.com. Retrieved 2018-05-16. 
  35. ^ Olson, Laura. "Lou Barletta switches to a 'yes' on Obamacare repeal bill". themorningcall.com. Retrieved 2018-05-16. 
  36. ^ Blake, Aaron (January 31, 2017). "Whip Count: Here's where Republicans stand on Trump's controversial travel ban". Washington Post. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h CNN, Andrew Kaczynski and Chris Massie,. "GOP Senate candidate Lou Barletta did interview in 2006 with Holocaust-denying publication". CNN. Retrieved 2018-05-16. 

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Paul Kanjorski
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district

2011–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Smith
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
(Class 1)

2018
Most recent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Justin Amash
United States Representatives by seniority
192nd
Succeeded by
Karen Bass
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